Monday night the Hastings Council invited citizens to a workshop at the Opera House to air their views on a range of issues related to development of the urban areas of the Hastings District, with special emphasis on the Hastings CBD. The meeting was promoted on the radio, in Hawke’s Bay Today, and on the Council website.
Excluding Hastings Councillors and staff, about 20 people attended. Of these twenty, seven were “regulars” who attend most such events, including at least two interlopers from Napier.
Granted, some stakeholders were invited to workshops during the day to give their views. Nevertheless, a turnout of twenty from the general public is
I was looking for an explanation for this sorry outcome, so I called twenty Hastings residents at random to find out why they stayed home. Here are their reasons.
- Nobody listens to the radio, reads HB Today, or visits the HDC website.
- It was too cold out and I wanted to stay close to my woodburner.
- I understood the subject to be Hastings CBD, not important places like Havelock North or Napier.
- My heart can’t stand the excitement.
- My kids are sick.
- I have no opinion.
- I got lost — don’t know where the Opera House is.
- The Council will get it right without my help.
- I tried to attend, but couldn’t find a parking space in Hastings at 7pm.
- Council doesn’t pay any attention to this kind of input anyway.
- Rejuvenating Hastings is an oxymoron.
- I’m avoiding crowds so I don’t catch bird flu.
- I was in the cellar watching my wine age.
- The meeting conflicted with my favourite TV show.
- If I pretend it’s not happening, maybe it won’t.
- I’m in mourning for my deceased prize bull.
- Let the nutters deal with it.
- I heard no alcohol would be served.
- We did all this once before … and look where that got us.
Do these reasons pretty much cover it?
Seriously … help me understand. Why are so many people so prepared to whinge about their local government and its direction, but so unprepared to try and make a difference?